Tiny Cooking

Tiny Cooking: Banana Pancakes

The assumed diversity of the white bellied hedgehog diet (to my knowledge there aren’t any studies into the stomach and faecal content of wild white bellied hogs like those for European Hedgehogs as is found here: Wildlife Online.) means that there are plenty of safe and species-appropriate options available for an owner to change what’s on offer at dinner time.

I was delighted to find that hogs can be given the ‘two ingredient’ banana pancakes; these are very easy for me to prepare because this dairy free recipe is where I start when making banana pancakes for myself.

For Chai The Hedgehog

The ingredients are simple: two eggs and one ripe banana

To prepare I used a measuring jug, a little non stick pan and because I wanted cutely shaped pancakes I used a small metallic heart-shaped cutter.

Add the eggs and slices of banana (or the whole banana if you’re feeling dangerous) to the measuring jug. A bowl is fine if you don’t have a jug, I just like pouring the mixture into the pans instead of using a spoon.

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I then use a hand mixer to whiz the ingredients together and pour the mixture into the cutter which is already in the tiny pan (medium heat).

It doesn’t take long for the mixture to cook on one side. To turn I (protect your fingers it will be hot) flip the metallic cutter then use a chop stick or knife to poke the shape down the length of the cutter. Once it touches the pan, lift the cutter off and wait for a few seconds.

Repeat these steps for as many tiny pancakes as you want (you can also free pour less than a teaspoon into the pan for circular pancakes).

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Tiny, tiny pancake dinner garnished with a side of kale and a tea cup of water.

Using the Leftover Mixture for Me

If you don’t use all of the mixture for your hedgehog friendly pancakes, you can enjoy the rest of the mxture for yourself!

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Bubbling pancakes for me!

To the leftover mixture (I only used about a teaspoon or two of mixture above) I add:

1 tbsp flaxseed

2 tbsp self raising flour

1 tsp sugar 

When they didn’t rise I added an additional 1/2 tsp of baking powder

I didn’t need to use the oat milk because the mixture was already at a consistency where it was easy to pour and the pancakes were rising well.

I use the hand blender which I’ve set aside to mix the new ingredients into the banana and egg mixture, and wait for my frying pan to warm up to a medium heat and melt the small amount of butter I’ve put in. Then pour the mixture into the pan and cook until done. I tend to either get my first pancake perfect or find that I need to modify the mixture based on how well the pancake has risen or cooked.

There you are!

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Chai, preparing to walk over her treat. I’d just given her some mealies and she was determined to find more.

Some tasty pancakes for your hedgehog that you can also enjoy. I tried this recipe when Chai rejected my spinach scrambled egg offering because other owners seemed to find more success with banana and egg than other mixtures.

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Care

Mystified by What to Feed

This post is because I am generally wary of commercial animal food and I am in a position where I have the support and funds to join those pet owners and professionals who are exploring more species-appropriate diet. This post is not to make those comfortable feeding a cat-food based diet to feel uncomfortable and is not a criticism; I am gathering my thoughts and I’m currently following a cat-biscuit based diet while my hedgehog settles in.

There are many ways to feed an animal and the choice I make might not be right for you. And that’s okay =)

In 1990 white bellied hedgehogs were imported into the US pet trade from Nigeria en-masse which later triggered the 1994 African Pygmy Hedgehog pet boom. [Research originally from Hedgehogs of Asgard here: The African Pygmy Hedgehog Hybrid or Not?]. Twenty-odd (at the time of writing) years is not long enough for us to really know on what food our beloved pets will thrive on, especially given the limited research available on hedgehogs. Hedgehog diets and what is best to feed them is always evolving, and moving away from a cat-biscuit base which takes inspiration from wildlife rescues rehabilitating wild European hedgehogs who need to gain weight fast to be released in a short space of time.

We have kept exotic animals for over eight centuries, their care originally verging on cruel through our sheer lack of understanding (A History of Exotic Animals in the UK – Guardian Article) of their dietary and behavioural needs. Thankfully through time and legislation how we care for animals evolves, just look at the BARF diet and how raw feeding for cats and dogs has taken off and become commercialised over the past years. I feel like I have chosen to have a pet hedgehog as understanding of their dietary requirements is evolving. Which means finding people who want to stay safe in the status-quo which is working, and hearing ideas from those who think we can do more and we can do better and aren’t afraid to try.

I already feed my cat a complete frozen (thawed for serving) raw diet, and I’m in the privileged position of having enough support and spare cash to do the same with what my hedgehog eats and how she lives. Progress will be gentle

Current sources of inspiration for a non-cat biscuit based diet for my hedgehog are:

Basic and Care Guide Described Diets

RAW Diets

Raw diet feeders who combine blended BARF principals with the inclusion of feeding ‘Veg Chop’, including the result of bloodwork

Insects Overview

This is my inspiration and my thoughts. I’m still reading, learning and calculating and hope to update as I learn more and as my hedgehog grows.

To be continued…